10 Questions with Mile High Run Club Creator Debora Warner

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Author: Jackie Thomas

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Attention all NYC-area fitness fanatics: it’s time to tighten your ponytail, grab your running shoes and head to the nearest Mile High Run Club location because things are about to get sweaty!

This Jersey girl ventured into the big city to try an indoor running studio that helped make some serious mileage in my training, health goals and exercise routine.

As I walked from Penn Station to the studio, the runner (and suburban girl) in me couldn’t help but notice exactly how annoying jogging around a busy city with crowded sidewalks, speedy traffic and small parks that probably can’t sustain long runs must be. I feel your pain, city runners.


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Enter Mile High Run Club.

With two locations nestled in the heart of New York City, this elite studio trains beginners to elites with goals ranging from finishing a 5K, shedding the dreaded winter weight to PR-ing your next marathon.

When I walked into the pristine studio, I was quickly greeted by the friendly front desk crew, given my treadmill number (yes, you’ll definitely want to reserve your treadmill since these classes fill up fast!) and headed back into the treadmill room. It was equipped with booming tunes, lighting that changed with the music and pace and a high-energy, extremely motivating coach. Too cool, I know. On each treadmill, I found a Mile High Run Club guide that gives you speeds to target for each level, which made it super easy to keep up with the changing pace during class.

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After my sweaty five mile session, I got to prod Mile High Run Club creator, Debora Warner, about how she came up with this workout, where she finds her experienced coaches and what’s in store for the future.


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The Mighty Mite: Mile High Running Club’s indoor treadmill classes are electric, innovative and outright fun. How did you come up with the idea for a studio focused around the #dreadmill?


Debora Warner: I’ve always liked the format of a spin class more than the actual spinning and wanted to apply that type of group training experience to treadmill running.


TMM: What types of classes do you have? How did you create them?

DW: We currently have three classes, the DASH 28, HIGH 45, and THE DISTANCE. The classes range from a foundation building class to an advanced class for more competitive runners. I created the classes for all fitness levels and developed a guide with suggested speed targets for various skill levels.


TMM: How do your classes also incorporate strength training?

DW: The DASH 28 class incorporates 10 minutes of strength and power training with kettlebells. The kettlebell portion of class supports runners’ specific needs, such as lower body strength and stability.


TMM: Do you have a favorite class? What do you recommend for beginners?

DW: My favorite class to teach is THE DISTANCE, but I recommend the DASH 28 for beginners.


TMM: Are your classes solely for runners? Why might a non-runner want to attend a running based workout class?

DW: Our classes are for runners and non-runners alike. A “non-runner” typically runs only for fitness and gravitates toward the group dynamic to stay motivated. Several of our “non-runners’ have become runners at MHRC and have started participating in all distance races ranging from short track events to marathons.


TMM: Now for the runners, you offer a great training package and community. Can you speak to that a bit, especially the outdoor runs?

DW: The outdoor runs are supervised by Olympian John Henwood. John is 100 percent focused on delivering results to his runners. We have a small dedicated group participating in the outdoor program who also run indoors with us.


TMM: Personally speaking, my class’ running coach was so fun! His motivation kept me going, made me chuckle and empowered me not to let the long miles defeat me. Where do you find these awesome coaches?

DW: I’m so glad you enjoyed your class! I started with coaches who were referred to me through my network and have started holding auditions within the past year in order to get a sense of how well the coach can command a room.


TMM: Tell me a little bit about yourself. Are you a runner yourself? Do you have a favorite race?

DW: Yes, I’m a runner and former competitive swimmer and triathlete. I would like to get back to triathlon, however I am focusing on running at the moment. My favorite race is the MORE Women’s Half Marathon with NYRR.


TMM: Do you have a lot of club members train for NYC races like the Brooklyn Half for NYC Marathon through your club?

DW: Yes! A good majority of our runners just ran Brooklyn, and we have several training for the NYC Marathon as well.


TMM: New York City seems to be the perfect environment for a running club with pesky traffic lights around every corner. Is there any chance you’re looking to expand beyond your two studios?

DW: Eventually, yes.


To learn more about Mile High Run Club, visit their official website. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more exclusive content and insider tips.

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